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Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar expressed delight and claimed that Sanju Samson had 'come of age' after he nearly pulled off the impossible against Punjab Kings in their IPL 2021 opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. Sanju Samson, who created history as he became the first ever skipper to score a century on debut in the IPL, was at loss of words after his side fell agonizingly short of a victory as Samson himself was dismissed off the last delivery with Rajasthan requiring five runs. Commenting on Sanju Samson's magical knock, Sanjay Manjrekar noted that the Rajasthan Royals' skipper had lasted from the first ball of the innings to the last one and had achieved his first century in a run chase in the due course of his innings. Taking to Twitter, Sanjay Manjrekar expressed hope for Sanju Samson to continue in the red-hot form throughout IPL 2021.
Point to note...Samson came into bat in the first over and was there till the last ball of the innings. He came of age tonight I thought. First hundred in a run chase too. Let’s hope he can keep his form through the length of the IPL.#RRvsPBKS #SanjuSamson— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 12, 2021
"I don't have words to tell, very close game, came close but unfortunately. I don't think I could have done anything more, timed it well, but unfortunately couldn't clear the man in the deep. We thought the wicket was getting better and we could chase the target down. Despite the loss, I think the team played really well", said Sanju Samson during the post-match interview.
Chasing a mammoth target of 222, the Kerala cricketer who had come out to bat in the very first over after having lost the key wicket of opener Ben Stokes took some time to settle down but then went after the Punjab Kings' bowlers once he got set. He brought up the first century of this season and at one point, it appeared as if he would single-handedly take the Royals past the finish line. However, with 13 needed from the remaining six deliveries, youngster Arshdeep Singh bowled an outstanding final over and in the end, despite being taken to the cleaners it was the bowler who had the last laugh as he had an in-form Sanju Samson caught at the boundary by Deepak Hooda on the final ball of the contest. Sanju Samson was dismissed for a quickfire 63-ball 119 at a strike rate of 188.89 including 12 boundaries and seven maximums as the 2008 winners fell short by five runs after being restricted to 217/7 from their 20 overs. The RR skipper was adjudged the Man of the Match for his valiant knock.
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